Monthly Archives: September 2015

Most People Are Scared to Call The Suicide Helpline, But Here Is a Better Understanding

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States, presenting a major, preventable public health problem. More than 33,000 people kill themselves each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and suicide deaths only account for part of the problem. An estimated 25 attempted suicides occur per every suicide death, and those who survive suicide may have serious injuries, in addition to having depression and other mental health problems. Men are about four times more likely than women to die of suicide, but three times more women than men report attempting suicide and suicide occurs at a disproportionately higher rate among adults 75 years and older.
What can I do?
Suicide Talk
TELL people you trust your thoughts feelings and struggles including thoughts about self harm or suicide
ASK a person bereaved by a suicide about support they need and whether they have thoughts of suicide themselves
LISTEN to the stories of the suicide bereaved, attend to the distress, support the search for the meaning in the loss
KEEP SAFE from suicide while creating a safe place for people to share their sorrow and struggles and experience healing support
Crisis Hot lines
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273 8255
To text a Veterans Counselor, text to 83825
To online chat with a Veterans Counselor, go to
TTY – 800.799.4889
Para obtener asistencia en español llame al 1-888-628-9454
National Crisis Helpline 1-800-784-2433
DuPage Crisis Line 1-630-627-1700
Depression Hotline 1-630-482-9696
Frequently Asked Questions when calling a crisis line
1-Who am I talking to?
Someone who really wants to help. Many are volunteers
Volunteers of an accredited hot line must have 80-100 hours of intense training plus constant supervising
Everyone is there because they really want people to live and manage their suffering
They are there to listen, to help you talk and perhaps direct you to support and treatment in your area
2 -Is my call confidential?
Your call is free and confidential. The information you provide will not be shared unless you give a responder permission to share it or indicate that you would like to receive care after the call.
If you are in imminent danger or at risk of harming others, the volunteer is mandated to attempt a rescue coordinated with local officials. The volunteer often stays on the line attempting to help you accept immediate support. As your lifeline, they want you to stay alive and find a reason to live.
3-What if my call doesn’t go through?
Call 911 for emergency help. Veterans can text 838255, teens can text 741741 (Crisis Teen Line)




In previous blog posts, we have discussed some of the more common mental disorders, their symptoms and treatments. Although this is relatively straightforward to understand, there are many individuals suffering from these conditions who do not receive the care and treatment they require.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) conducted a study that revealed that between 30-80% of those suffering from a mental illness do not receive the treatment they need. So why are so many people not seeking the treatment they require?
Fear and Shame
One of the most common reasons that a person suffering from a mental health disorder does not receive the medical care they require is due to fear and shame. They are embarrassed by being affected by a mental disorder, and they make a conscious decision not to ask for help.

Unfortunately, there is a stigma, discrimination and a lack of acceptance of mental disorders which deters some people to seek the help they need. As an example, someone suffering from depression who is already in a downward spiral of negativity has feelings of worthlessness and helplessness. In their mind, they are putting themselves into the position of allowing others, including their GP, to see them with a stigma. Discrimination and non-acceptance of being diagnosed with a mental health disorder are sometimes a more fearful prospect than asking for help. To suffer in silence, ignore the symptoms and try to find self-help without anyone knowing they are ill, sometimes seems like a less stressful outcome.
Lack of Acceptance
This behavior is more prevalent with people suffering from severe mental health disorders since individuals do not believe they are ill. For example, people suffering from schizophrenia and acute anxiety or depression. If a person firmly believes themselves they are not ill, they will see no reason to seek medical help.
Many people suffering from disorders such as anxiety or depression will often disregard the warning signs of their symptoms. They tell themselves that “everyone gets stressed out” or “everyone goes through tough times.” They push others away who are close enough to see the signs and are trying to convince them to get the help they need. They say, for example, “you’re making too much of it” or “my problems are not that bad”.
There are many people who see mental illness as a personal failure. They often feel that they are weak for having to ask for help when they believe they should be able to handle their symptoms on their own.
It takes a lot of courage to go to a doctor and explain that you believe you are suffering from symptoms consistent with those of a mental disorder. To take a leap of faith to get help, people need to trust the person who they open up to. Often, for people suffering from disorders such as anxiety and depression, it is hard to trust anyone, even the closest friends and family. Trust in this context is also related to having confidence in public services and authorities with sensitive information about a person’s health. For some people, this can be a major issue, and they are not prepared to take any risks.
For many, mental illness can be demoralising. Over time, it can change a person’s confidence, attitude and personality. They can fall deeper into negativity with an ever-decreasing lack of self-confidence that results in them feeling worthless. When it comes to the point of asking for help, the feelings of worthlessness have become so overwhelming that they feel their whole situation is utterly hopeless and no one will be able to assist them. This can become a significant personal barrier to receiving the medical treatment they require.
Lack of services
Every region has its medical facilities and services for its public residents to use. However, in some rural or widespread areas, medical help may be difficult to obtain. This is due to lack of services in one particular area, or having to travel major distances to find suitable care. This issue can be quite important when sufferers are seeking medical treatment for some of the more complex mental health disorders.
Following the previous point of lack of services, many people have to travel far distances to find suitable care and treatment. This can be costly, and it can become a challenge if relying on public transportation. The cost of care and treatment can also be a major barrier when there is a lack of personal finances to fund it. In addition to cost and travel, there is also the barrier of childcare, which is a challenge for many. Appointments need to be made during work hours and time off work needs to be agreed or childcare is required, both of which prevent many from making appointments.

If you suffer from any mental illness, you must know that you are not alone and that your condition can be adequately treated. Statistics revealed that 38% of the population will suffer from a mental condition during their lifetime, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. According to an article published by the American Psychiatric Association, just as with other medical illnesses, early intervention can make a crucial difference in preventing what could become a lifelong and potentially disabling psychiatric disorder. The article discusses the Warning Signs of Mental Illness and the benefit of Early Intervention.

The Monsenso smartphone app can help identify at an early stage, students suffering from common behavioural disorders such as depression, anxiety, ADHD and other more severe illnesses in schools. To learn more about this read Transforming the Mental Health of Children and Adolescents.
Eve McPhee

Eve McPhee is a qualified and experienced Psychotherapist and Counsellor dealing with life’s mental health issues. She advises, guides and supports individuals and groups through the emotional sphere of these issues through a psychotherapeutic approach. To learn more about Eve, visit

What I Learned About How To Prevent Suicide | bpHope – bp Magazine Community

According to the National Institute for Mental health, 41,000 people take their lives every year. It is said for every suicide; eight people are profoundly

Source: What I Learned About How To Prevent Suicide | bpHope – bp Magazine Community

Starting A Suicide Conversation

You don’t need fancy words to start a potentially life-saving conversation. A simple “Are things so bad you are thinking of ending your life?” is enough.

If the answer is “Yes”, don’t respond by reciting a litany of reasons there are to go on living or try to guilt or shame the person into not killing themselves because it would hurt you or be inconvenient for others. If the answer is “No”, don’t assume you are hearing the truth.

Such actions are dangerous, insensitive, and counter-productive. Worse, they will end the conversation when it most needs to be heard.

Instead, listen, express concern (in a non-judgemental way), and reassure the person you would like to help them in whatever way needed in that moment. This could mean not talking at all, but just being there, unafraid of the darkness spoken between you and residing in them. It could also mean reaching out to offer assistance in finding the right help and support.

Or, depending on the relationship and level of trust between you, it could mean creating a suicide safety plan together to help manage and make it through the vulnerable times.

The compulsion to act on suicidal thoughts waxes and wanes. It can often be delayed and that can make all the difference. What doesn’t make a difference is denying its existence or pretending the risk is not real.

Show compassion by saying you are sorry to hear this is what your loved one (or yourself, if that is the case) is facing. Acknowledge how much mental strength and courage it must take to carry this burden on top of dealing with injury recovery. Reaffirm that you want to help the person stay brave in the face of their greatest pain and such adversity as can arise following brain injury and throughout the personal injury claim process.

You are not alone in helping someone in suicidal crisis. There are many resources, several of which are absolutely free, available to assess, treat and intervene in dangerous times. Crisis lines, counselors, intervention programs and more are available to you, as well as to the person at risk for suicide.
You have the power to save a life. Even if it is your own.

If you or someone you know is suicidal, please contact a mental health professional or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Author’s Note: This post is dedicated to those who’ve worked so hard to keep me alive long enough to write it: Leland Clipperton, Dr. Clarkson, Dr. Yashpal, Dr. Holub, Dr. Berry, Tammy Lawless and Ron Folkes. Thank you all for the gift of your support.

Talk To Your Brampton Lawyer With No Obligation
Ron Folkes, based in Brampton, ON, is a leader in the field of personal injury law. For over 40 years, Ron has been providing the highest quality legal services to clients at reasonable rates while achieving millions of dollars in settlements for his clients through virtually every type of personal injury claim. FOLKESLAW remains committed to this principle today and has earned an excellent reputation among clients, colleagues and courts within the Brampton and Mississauga legal communities.

If you’ve been seriously injured, let our family help you protect yours. Call 905-457-2118 for a no charge, no obligation 30-minute consultation.


September is National Suicide Prevention Month but staying aware of the need to prevent suicide is a 365-days-a-year job.
Every 40 seconds, someone somewhere in the world dies by suicide. Death by suicide occurring every 40 seconds amounts to almost one million deaths a year across the world. That figure is expected to rise to 1.5 million by 2020 (World Health Organization (WHO) statistics).

Suicide is preventable. There are always signs, desperate cries for help, and we need to be able to recognize them when they appear.

Life is not an easy road at the best of times for any of us. And, it is particularly difficult after sustaining a serious personal injury. Not just for the injured, but also for their families and friends. This is especially true when having to deal with the betrayal of the support systems and assistance from our insurers that we believed we had in place to protect us from loss and aid our recovery from tragedy.

It is not circumstances that drive a person to suicide as much as we may look to those to try and understand why. We do this to help us put what has happened into a context. We also do it so we can feel safe with what we think we know about suicide or about him or her whom we have lost.

A suicidal death results when a person has reached a point where his or her coping strategies and available resources are no longer sufficient to withstand the pain of continuing on with life. And a person can be driven to that breaking point, a suicidal state of mind, by any number of circumstances beyond their control. It’s just that simple.

To be sure, suicide is not a popular subject with most people. An overwhelming social stigma is associated with this manner of death. In fact, the universal shame surrounding suicide is so great, families and friends left behind are often reluctant to talk about it. And that is where the real shame lies. Not only do suicide prevention efforts save the lives of others, talking about it is therapeutic for those left behind needing support and understanding as they move through the mourning and healing process and seek closure for their loss.

Confronting Barriers To Injury Recovery

Everyone has stressors in their life and most deal with them in a healthy and natural way. After injury, having to go through the insurance claim process significantly adds to the stress imposed on the seriously injured. The extent of damage and harm that can be caused by this unrelenting stress should not be underestimated. It can, however, be reduced by having an experienced personal injury lawyer deal with insurers on your behalf so you can concentrate more fully on your recovery.

Unfortunately, there is still a dark cloud that prevents many from asking for help or showing (perceived) weakness having been conditioned throughout life to “suck it up and keep going”. It’s not uncommon for people to assume they can deal with this and their insurers themselves. Particularly if the details of the accident and the diagnosis of their injuries seem straightforward. Sadly, this is not the reality of how the personal injury claim process works.

Men especially (even relatively successful ones), often have a problem with openly discussing their issues and challenges, not to mention the depression and other mental illnesses that often follow serious injury, to say nothing of the suicidal feelings that can result.
Whether or not injury was a contributing factor, most people who die by suicide suffer from an underlying depression with many feeling an intense and unrelenting shame that, left untreated, becomes impossible to carry.

Answering the Question Why

After a death by suicide, it is common for people to want to distance themselves from the tragedy by suggesting we’ll never really know why it happened. But ultimately, we do know why.

When the pain of continuing life exceeds the ability of one’s coping and adaptive strategies to mitigate it, suicide often results. The capacity to withstand pain and associated aggregate suffering differs by individual and varies over the course of one’s lifetime influenced by ever-changing circumstances. The main thing most people who kill themselves have in common is a belief that suicide is the ONLY solution to their unbearable situation.

Many of us have etched in our memories the images of people jumping out of the World Trade Center on 9/11. These people did not want to die. They were leaping to get away from the flames at their back. In a similar manner, people who contemplate suicide are trying to escape some type of peril in their lives. It is difficult for many of us to truly appreciate the flames that consume the minds of people who contemplate suicide.

The unbearable psychological and/or physical pain often blocks the ability to see other potential solutions to problems. A pervasive sense of hopelessness stifles the ability to seek help, yet most people are ambivalent about taking their lives — they don’t want death, they just desperately want the pain to stop. In the moment, to that person, suicide seems a logical, practical, even an empowering decision in response to the truth about “now” as it is being experienced. It is only our collective acceptable societal norms that do not see it so.

We want to believe what we see on the outside of a person’s life accurately reflects what’s going on inside. It rarely does. This is true about ourselves. And it is true about every person we know or will ever meet.

We want to believe we’d choose differently given the same set of circumstances. Such dangerous thinking leads to a false sense of immunity to suicide risk. Because possibly, we wouldn’t.
We want to believe there were other options. There weren’t. There were only our perceived more acceptable options for dealing with said circumstances we assume are responsible for creating the pain that could no longer be withstood.

By the time the decision to end one’s life is reached, the person believes all other options, however extreme, have been fully and responsibly exhausted. Their reality is the pain of living has escalated beyond the limits of the person’s tolerance and capacity to co-exist with and/or carry it.
Suicide happens much more often than most people are aware of. For every two homicides there are three suicides, and yet with the media coverage for homicide, you’d expect the reverse to be true. In many areas there are more deaths from suicide than there are to motor vehicle crashes.

Frankly, we don’t need to know why a person committed suicide. It would be far more productive to ask why tremendous amounts of money are put toward road care, safe driver enforcement, and vehicle safety, and yet very few resources are dedicated to suicide awareness, prevention and intervention or explaining what the reductions in insurance benefits really mean for those who may one day need to rely on them.

Helping Someone Through A Suicidal Crisis

If you sense the struggle to deal with dangerous feelings in a loved one, whether they be related to injury, depression, anxiety or frustration with the insurance and/or legal process for injury claims, don’t be afraid to reach out.

Pay attention and look for warning signs there is a potential risk for suicide and let them know you care. Over-reacting is always safer than under-reacting in these instances.

  • Risk is often present when a person:
  • Appears sad, depressed, anxious or agitated.
  • Expresses hopelessness or says they lack reasons to live.
  • Is unable to sleep, or sleeps all the time.
  • Withdraws from friends, family and society.
  • Feels trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Has frequent and dramatic mood changes.
  • Feels excessively guilty or ashamed, or feels s/he is a failure and that family and friends would be better off without him or her.
  • Abuses drugs or alcohol.
  • A person considering suicide may:
  • Put his or her affairs in order, tie up loose ends and/or make out a will.
  • Seek access to firearms, pills or other means of harming oneself.
  • Give away prized possessions.
  • Call or visit family and friends as if to say goodbye.

If risk is even remotely present, remain with the suicidal person and listen to them with an open heart and without judgement until they are in the safety of a therapist’s office, an emergency room or (if needed) a psych ward.

Suicide may seem like something we can do nothing about; however, this is rarely the case. Not talking about it is dangerous. Not listening even more so. Listening really can and does save lives.

FOLKESLAW -Ron Folkes, based in Brampton, ON -Call 905-457-2118 for a no charge, no obligation 30-minute consultation

Clinical Pearls: The Enduring Stigma of Bipolar Disorder | bpHope – bp Magazine Community

One of the duties I have as a mental health professional is to advocate for those with mental illness. I was recently in a discussion with another physician,

Source: Clinical Pearls: The Enduring Stigma of Bipolar Disorder | bpHope – bp Magazine Community

What Happening With Mental Illness Training in Illinois?

Adult Mental Health First Aid – Saturday, October 24, 2015 – 8AM-5:30PM – Christ Church of Oak Brook, IL – No cost for course. $10 Lunch if desired – In partnership with the Community Memorial Foundation – Limited to 30.

Youth Mental Health First Aid – Saturday, October 3, 2015 – 8AM-5:30PM – First Congregational Church of Western Springs, IL – No Cost to participants – In partnership with the Community Memorial Foundation – Limited to 30.

Contact person – Legina Deaver 708-582-4201